My mom and I go to Pacific City, Oregon for a vacation to visit family. In
Pacific City there is an area called Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area and it is one of my
favorite places. It has many hiking trails and some of the most beautiful scenery. You
can’t see the beautiful scenery from the car or from inside. To experience the view from
the top of Cape Kiwanda, which looks out over the Nestucca Bay and Cape Lookout, and to
watch the waves from the Pacific Ocean crash into the rocks, you have to get out of your car
or hotel room and start hiking from the beach!

Be sure to save your strength when you start out. You begin on the sandy beach and start walking towards a huge 250ft sand dune that will you hike up. It takes some strong legs strength and good balance to
get to the top, it is definitely a calorie burner! Some people climb to the top of the dune and then slide down on homemade cardboard sleds. This dune is known for being one of the best sandboarding places in Oregon. I am definitely going to have to try to do that the next time I am there. Other people, like me, catch their breath and start hiking along the dune to the various viewpoints. From up there you can enjoy all the trees, rock formations, sounds from the ocean and the birds, and the overall beauty. You truly feel like you are on top of the world!

Haystack Rock

Something else in Pacific City is the huge rock out in the middle of the sea. It is called Haystack
Rock; not to be confused with Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Pacific City, in my mind,
wins, with its higher rock reaching 340 feet! Haystack Rock is known for its diverse species of birds
and is also part of Oregon’s 7 natural marine gardens.

When I was there it t was a rainy Tuesday in Oregon, which is pretty normal in Pacific City. I could hear the waves crashing up against the rocks and I felt the dark wet sand and heard the screeching seagulls. I could feel the cold wet mist run through my hair as we began to walk closer to the huge sand dune. My mom and I looked up at the towering hill of sand and knew that this is not going to be an easy hike. We
started our trek up the dune. I have learned from many attempts that it is easiest to walk on other people’s footprints because it has already been engraved in the sand. This makes it much easier to climb so you do not have to step in loose sand. We started climbing and I took the lead while my mom trailed behind. As I got further up the hill, I could feel my legs beginning to burn and the air started to become thinner making it harder to breathe. We were halfway up the hill when we felt more rain. This rain was stronger than the mist. The stronger rain dampened the sand making it harder, and thicker to climb. But I pushed through. I could not let a bunch of sand get in my way. I kept climbing one step at a time until I reached the top.

The view at the top was well worth the hike. The huge rock formations and view of the
ocean were so cool, it was totally worth it. Oh, and in case you were wondering my mom made up
the dune 10 minutes later… :). All in all, it was totally worth the long hike in order to see the most
beautiful view. Then, of course, we had to go back down the sand dune!

This was truly one of the top highlights of my vacation. The next time that you are on a
vacation, plan to find a great spot to hike and experience something that you can’t see from
inside the car!